Quick Links Menu.

USS Paul Revere (APA 248) on 30 August 1958.

USS Paul Revere (APA 248) on 30 August 1958.
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class: PAUL REVERE (APA 248, C4-S-1a)
Design: SCB Project Nos. 78 and 78a respectively and MA C4-S-1d, conversions of MA C4-S-1a
Displacement (tons): 10,709 light, 16,838 load
Dimensions (feet): 564.0' oa, 528.0' pp x 76.0' max x 27.0' load
Armament: 4-3"/50T
Accommodations: 529 crew and 2,078 troops
Speed (kts.): 21
Propulsion (HP): 22,000
Machinery: Geared steam turbines, 2 boilers (600psi/875deg), 1 screw

248PAUL REVERE14 Sep 1956New York SB15 May 195211 Apr 19533 Sep 1958
249FRANCIS MARION16 Mar 1959New York SB30 Mar 195313 Feb 19546 Jul 1961

APANameTDecommStrikeDisposalFateMA Sale
248PAUL REVERE1 Oct 19791 Jan 198017 Jan 1980Trf--
249FRANCIS MARION14 Sep 19791 Jan 198011 Jul 1980Trf--

Class Notes:
In 1946 the Ship Characteristics Board listed a series of projects for amphibious ships with a 20-knot speed to increase their survivability against modern submarines based on the German Type XXI. These included an APA (SCB 14), AKA (SCB 15), AGC (SCB 16), LSD (SCB 17), and LST (SCB 32). In June 1946 BUSHIPS recommended omitting procurement of all of these from the FY 1948 building program but the AKA was retained and design work continued with an objective of developing a single type hull and engineering plant easily adaptable to rapid conversion to a high speed APA or AKA in time of war and suitable for building in merchant ship yards. A project for a 20-knot, 20,000-ton new-construction Attack Cargo Ship (AKA) was distributed by CNO for comment on 2 October 1947 but did not reach the approval stage. In 1948 BUSHIPS produced two sketch designs for a 564' oa AKA along with an APA variant. In 1948 the Maritime Commission received funding to develop a 20-knot APA/AKA in cargo ship form, BUSHIPS developed another sketch design of its AKA that was more suitable for commercial operation, and after many compromises the Maritime Commission completed plans in the summer of 1950 for the Mariner class freighter, specifically intended for wartime conversion to a fast AKA or APA.

Approved characteristics for a new APA converted from a Mariner (MA C4-S-1a) type ship, SCB Project No. 78, were developed as a mobilization planning project and were promulgated on 12 Jul 1951 and updated on 14 January 1955, 21 September 1955, and 2 October 1957 with a final change on 25 April 1958. The civilian Mariner program achieved little commercial success and by December 1953 the Navy was considering ways to use the underemployed ships. The conversion of a Mariner to an APA along the lines of the Project 77 AKA was included in an early draft of the FY 1956 program and as of 16 March 1954 contract designs for it were due within BUSHIPS by 1 January 1955. On 24 June 1954 BUSHIPS and BUORD provided cost estimates for the proposed FY 1956 program (approved by SECNAV on 27 September 1954) including one Project 78 APA conversion. On 19 October 1954 BUSHIPS Code 500 recommended awarding the contract for the preparation of the working plans to Gibbs & Cox, and on 28 October 1954 BUSHIPS Code 516 recommended that they utilize as much of the same material as had been used on AKA 112. The ship, however, was not in the FY 1956 program recommended by CNO to SECNAV on 11 January 1955 and approved by him on 19 January 1955. On 19 July 1955 CNO approved a FY 1957 program drafted on 21 April 1955 that included a Project 78 APA conversion. This program was returned by SECNAV in October for cost reductions, which the APA survived, becoming APA 248. One Project 78 APA and one Project 77 AKA, both Mariner conversions, were included in a draft FY 1958 program proposed on 16 May 1956. This was increased to two of each during the summer of 1956, but on 9 July 1956 CNO Burke, noting that the Navy was to acquire eight additional Mariners, requested that modernization of these ships be done as inexpensively as was consistent with having them in good operating condition. Specifically, equipment in them should not be changed simply because it did not meet Navy Department specifications if it was doing the job. On 24 September 1956 Burke changed the four APA/AKA conversions in the FY 1958 program to 1 new construction APA and 1 new AKA, but these were not in the program as recommended by him to SECNAV on 23 October 1956. On 20 August 1957 CNO approved a draft FY 1959 program that included one APA conversion, which survived a program revision in December 1957 and became APA 249. Approved characteristics for this second ship, SCB Project No. 78a, were promulgated on 5 July 1957 and updated on 18 June 1958 with a final change on 11 December 1958.

As in SCB Project No. 77 (AKA 112), the SCB 78 and 78a designs restored some Navy features omitted from the Mariner including two quadrupod cargo masts. The Navy's data sheet for SCB Project No. 78 as of 11 March 1957 had an armament of 6-3"/50 twin mounts as in AKA 112; the two mounts on the superstructure were soon omitted and the guns on the bow moved from the centerline to the sides as in AE 23. The classification of APA 248 and name PAUL REVERE for MA hull 27 were approved effective 4 June 1957. MA hull 29, which became APA 249, was previously (late 1956) to have become AG 155, the third Mariner earmarked to support the Jupiter liquid-fueled fleet ballistic missile program but that program was cancelled in favor of the Polaris FBM making the hull available for the APA conversion.

Ship Notes:
248PAUL REVERE27FY 1957. Ex DIAMOND MARINER, completed 22 Dec 1953. Operated by the Prudential S.S. Co. from 22 Dec 1953 to 24 Jul 1954, then to NDRF, Olympia. Converted by Todd Shipyards, San Pedro (contract Aug 1956). On 25 September 1968 effective 1 January 1969 PAUL REVERE (APA 248) was reclassified to LPA 248. To Naval Reserve Force 1975. Transferred to Spain as CASTILLA (TA-12, later L-21), stricken 1998.
249FRANCIS MARION29FY 1959. Ex PRAIRIE MARINER, completed 25 May 1954. Operated by the American Hawaiian S.S. Co. on allocation to MSTS from 25 May 1954 to 6 Jan 1955, then to NDRF, James River. Converted by Bethlehem Steel at Baltimore. On 25 September 1968 effective 1 January 1969 FRANCIS MARION (APA 249) was reclassified to LPA 249. Transferred to Spain as ARAGON (TA-11, later L-22), stricken 2000.

Page Notes:
Compiled: 29 Jul 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021
Special sources: Norman Friedman, U.S. Amphibious Ships and Craft, (Annapolis, 2002).